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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

OF
district: this is produced solely by its vegetable
development. The agricultural nations artificially
increase the prevalence of social plants, but with it,
in many parts of the temperate and northern zones,
the monotony, of nature ; they also destroy wild grow-
ing plants and cultivate others, which always follow
men on distant pilgrimages. The luxurious tropics,
however, successfully withstand all these violent revo-
lutions of creation.
TBOPICAL    SKETCH.
-/ In the mountainous districts near the equator, the
diversified character of nature has attained its climax.
In the deeply indented Andes of New Granada and
QuitOj we can see all formations of plants, and   all
stars of the heavens, co-equally.     One glance takes
in heliconias, high-topped  palms,  and   above these
tropical creations., oak forests, raespilia, and  mrjbel~
lifera, as in our native land.    One glance takes in
the Southern Cross, the  Magellan clouds,   and   the
principal stars of the Bear, which revolve round the
north pole.   There the earth and the two hemispheres
of heaven display the entire abundance of their various
forms; there the climates, and the botanical zones in-
duced by them, are ranged above each other; there
the laws   of heat becopae clearly intelligible to the
attentive observer, for they are  graven  in indelible
characters on the rocky walls of the Andes, on the pre-
cipices of the mountains; and if the tropical countries
are more impressive by the richness and luxuriance of
nature^ they are also especially calculated to show the
regulated order of space, as it is reflected on the earth
by the uniform regularity of the meteoric processes of
the atmosphere, and by the distinct classification of
natural forms, with a perpendiciilar elevation of the
soil.
In the hot plains, which do not rise high above the
level of the South Sea, abundance of pisang plants, of